What’s the Fuss about Fluoride?

Nearly seven years ago, a coalition of nonprofit organizations petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency to exercise its authority to ban fluoridation of drinking water due to the mounting evidence that fluoride is neurotoxic at levels normally seen in fluoridated communities.

The EPA’s denial of that petition set off a chain of events that led to a federal court case that began in 2020 and has yet to be resolved. Why? Because the government did all it could to block the release of the National Toxicology Program’s report on fluoride’s neurotoxicity, a critical document in the case.

But this past March, a draft version of the report was finally released under a court order related to another lawsuit.

The report is a six-year systematic review of the science on fluoride’s impact on the brain – not only fluoride from drinking water but all potential sources: dental products, processed foods, pesticides, and more. The report was externally peer reviewed twice.

All reviewers agreed with the report’s conclusion that early fluoride exposure can reduce IQ.

While “the body of evidence from studies in adults is…limited and provides low confidence that fluoride exposure is associated with adverse effects on adult cognition,” the NTP authors wrote,

there is…a large body of evidence on IQ effects in children. There is also some evidence that fluoride exposure is associated with other neurodevelopmental and cognitive effects in children; although, because of the heterogeneity of the outcomes, there is low confidence in the literature for these other effects. This review finds, with moderate confidence, that higher fluoride exposure (e.g., represented by populations whose total fluoride exposure approximates or exceeds the World Health Organization Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality of 1.5 mg/L of fluoride) is consistently associated with lower IQ in children. [emphasis added]

One of the most important researchers currently doing work in this area is Dr. Christine Till, a registered psychologist with an expertise in neuropsychology in both children and adults. Having risen to prominence after her work on maternal fluoride exposure and children’s IQ was published in JAMA Pediatrics in 2019, she is currently a tenured Professor in the Clinical Developmental Area in the Department of Psychology and Faculty of Health at York University, a public research university in Toronto, Canada.

Recently, Dr. Till took the time to participate in a webinar on “the fuss about fluoride” – a discussion well worth your time to watch to understand what current science has to say about this matter:

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